Have You Changed Your Air Filter Recently?

If you have a forced air HVAC system in your home you might think that the filter is improving your air quality, however, your air filter might not be improving the air quality. Air quality researchers have established that all that stuff floating though your air is bad for your health. Particles in your air that are 2.5 micrometers or smaller are the worst for your health, they can penetrate deeper into your lungs and end up in your blood stream. The best way to fight these particles is to filter the air but most homes only rely on the filter inside their HVAC system to do the filtering. Below you will find the 5 reasons that the filter in your HVAC system might not be helping your indoor air quality.

  1. No Filter!

This one seems like a no brainer but if you don’t have a filter installed there is not much filtration happening. I know it seems strange, but it happens! Sometimes a filter will get removed because it is in a difficult spot to reach, like a crawlspace. Sometimes you take it out and mean to replace it, but it slips your mind. All kinds of things can happen that lead to your filter being missing; this is not only harming the air quality in your home, but all that dirt and debris is getting into your duck work, blower, coil, and heat exchanger. Once all that dirt is inside your system it then spreads it throughout your home and causes strain on your system.

2. Bypassing the Filter

It doesn’t matter how nice the filter is if you don’t install it correctly. An incorrectly installed filter can let the air pass right by instead of through and this means your air is not being cleaned.

3. Not Enough Runtime

This one is not something a lot of people think about; your system might not be on long enough to make a difference. Your filter can only clean the air while your system is running, if your system is off then no air is being pulled through the filter. The best thing you can do to combat this is make sure the system you have in your home is the correct size and focus on minimizing the stuff that would need filtered out. You can do this by adding a standalone filter to your home or by Aerosealing your ductwork.

4. Not Changing or Using the Wrong Filter

Each system has different requirements when it comes to how often you should change your filter but if you don’t change it at all not only is the air not being filtered your system now has to work even harder to pull in air causing stress. The same thing can be said if you use the wrong filter, a basic filter is mostly designed to keep out pet hair, spiders, or lost socks. If you truly want to filter your air you need to invest in a MERV rated filter and the higher the number, the more stuff you filter out.

5. Filter in the Wrong Place

This one might also seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised what we find when going to clean a HVAC system.

If you over come these obstacles, you should see an improvement in the air quality within your home.

Bailes, Allison. “Air Quality.” How Your House Works, 2012, pp. 99–105., doi:10.1002/9781118286074.ch5

Keeping up the Humidity

This time of year, it is common to wake up with a dry nose, or a scratchy throat. Later in the day you might even experience nosebleeds, chapped lips, dry skin, or an increase of acne. You might also notice an increase in static electricity, creaks in hardwood floors, or hardwood furniture starting to crack, these are all symptoms of the air becoming drier during the winter months. Which brings us to the question, what can I do about it?

                Warmer air holds more moisture than cold air and in winter that cold air seeps into your home.  While you can turn up your heat an make your home nice and toasty again just turning on the heat doesn’t bring moisture back into the air, for that you need a humidifier. Most people choose to use a portable humidifier but if you have an HVAC system you can install a whole home humidifier.

                A whole house humidifier should not be confused with a portable humidifier. A portable humidifier is a device that you plug into the wall and place in the middle of a room. These humidifiers can only control the humidity of one room at a time, and they require frequent maintenance like changing the water and keeping the device clean. A whole house humidifier, on the other hand, is installed directly in your heating system’s ductwork. When your furnace is cycling and heating air in your home, that air is also humidified by the whole house humidifier. This means that every room in your home can enjoy humidified air by using a single unit.

A whole house humidifier is installed in your ductwork near your furnace, either on the supply or return end. The unit is also connected directly to your home’s water supply. Inside of the humidifier is a either a humidifier pad, a rotating drum or a steaming system that is used to distribute water to your home’s air. While the humidifier is running, water continuously runs down the humidifier pad, is collected by the rotating drum or is misted into the device, depending on your model. When air from your ducts enters the humidifier, it is exposed to the water inside. The water evaporates into the air, which increases the moisture levels of the air that exits the humidifier on the other side. While your furnace is running, a portion of the air that it cycles is directed into the humidifier. That air goes through the humidifier and joins back up with the rest of your home’s airflow. As a result, all the air that’s delivered to your home has higher moisture levels, which effectively raises the humidity in every room.

Fortunately, whole house humidifiers require very little maintenance. If your model uses a humidifier pad or filter, the media typically needs to be replaced about once per year. If you have a steam humidifier, it simply needs to be cleaned annually. When having your whole home humidifier cleaned ensure you use a HVAC company familiar with whole home humidifiers, when improperly maintained they can lead to mold growth inside your duct work.

Tips to Prepare and Protect Your HVAC System this Winter

Winter is well and truly upon us here in the New England area and it is time to think about how to keep your HVAC systems safe.  Winter elements such as extreme temperatures, snow, and ice can cause damage to your unit resulting in higher utility bills and possible system repairs or replacement.  There are a few things you can do to make sure your system runs smoothly and stays safe this winter.

                The first and most important step, as always, have an HVAC professional perform annual maintenance on your system. It is a consensus among HVAC professionals that most furnace breakdowns are due to the lack of maintenance. Think of it like your car, you have the oil in your car changed regularly why would your furnace not need the same care. Going hand in hand with system maintenance is the lifespan of your furnace, a well-maintained system can have a lifespan of 15-20 years. To us the idea of having to call your HVAC company for an emergency replacement in the middle of a storm sounds like the stuff of nightmares, so be on the look out for these signs your furnace might need replacement:

  • Your energy bill is on the rise
  • Your furnace is struggling to keep your home warm
  • Your furnace has become a money pit with costly repairs

Next, change your filter, a dirty filter will cause your furnace to work harder to push the air through your home. The filter for your furnace should be changed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but in most cases, it is best to change them every one to three months. To better help your system circulate air throughout your home make sure to have those air ducts cleaned regularly. The National Air Duct Cleaning Association recommends that you have your air ducts cleaned every three to five years. A buildup of dirt in your air ducts can cause your furnace to overwork itself. Moving furniture away from air duct vents can also help the air flow throughout your home.

If your HVAC unit is located on the outside of your home, make sure you have your HVAC company service and cover the unit according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.  When winter weather hits make sure you take the time to clear the snow off the top and away from the sides of the unit. Before the snow starts for the winter take the time to make sure your gutters are cleaned to ensure snow and ice will not drip onto your HVAC unit.

Remember this winter if you want to save yourself money in the long run it is important to prepare your HVAC system for winter. Preparing your HVAC system for winter can lower your electricity bill, cut your energy usage, and extend the life of your HVAC system and it can all be done with the few simple steps we talk about above. For more information on the importance of duct cleaning and how it can help your family call us at (978)681-5023.

Aeroseal and Your Home

The heating and cooling systems in your home can only be as efficient as the ductwork hidden inside your walls, and more than 90 percent of buildings in the US have small gaps and cracks in their ventilation systems. These small cracks and gaps in your duct work lead to frustrating temperature shifts, high utility bills, and excessive amounts of dust in your home. As a licensed Aeroseal dealer and installer, Aspen Air Duct Cleaning works hard to ensure our customers are well educated, that your ducts are sealed properly, and most importantly – you save money.

What is Aeroseal? Well let’s start with the product itself, Aeroseal is a polymer that is sprayed into your ductwork and fills in any gaps or cracks. Aeroseal leaves no lingering odor and is composed of a water-based solution and UL-tested sealing material that has been used in water-based paints, hair spray, and chewing gum. In fact, this product is so safe it is used to seal the ductwork in hospitals and government buildings.                

Many homeowners worry that the product is going to build up in the duct work and cause more problems than it is worth however, the duct is not lined with the polymer. The polymer only bonds with the gaps or cracks in your system, leaving the rest of your system as it was. Aeroseal only bond where needed, the fine mist is forced through your duct work into cracks and seams and the rest blows on through leaving no residue behind.

The first change you should notice in your home is an even distribution of air, sealed air leaks prevent air loss, which makes your home more comfortable. It can help eliminate hot and cold spots, take some of the load off your HVAC system, and ultimately lower your consumption and costs. Many homes lose 20-40% of conditioned air through leaks. Aeroseal prevents 90 percent of that. You should also notice a decrease in the amount of dust in your home, which means less cleaning for you.

Aeroseal duct sealing reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Homeowners not only report significant energy savings, but also enjoy improved heat flow and room temperature balance. While Aeroseal cost is not cheap, it is proven and simple way to professionally seal hard-to-reach ductwork. In addition, Aeroseal duct sealing can save you hundreds of dollars annually. To determine the Aeroseal cost for your home, request an estimate by dialing 978-681-5023.

Fall is in the Air

Fall is now upon us and it is time to start talking about the importance of professional air duct cleaning.  In the fall and winter months, your heating system will suddenly have a huge increase in usage and with this increase in usage anything that is inside your air duct is now going to be circulated around your home. Overtime, dust, pet hair, and other nasty bits of stuff accumulate inside your duct work, this can cause your system to overwork itself trying to move the same amount of air. When the air flow is restricted stress is added to your system, this stress leads to wear, malfunction, and breakdown within your system.

A good fall cleaning will help to eliminate all the dust, dirt, pollen, and any other pollutants which have collected inside of your home and duct work during the summer months. Especially if you have children, you know that there is an almost seemingly endless trails of mud, dirt, sand, water or sticky substances.  The National Air Duct Cleaning Association recommends that you have your air duct cleaned every 3 to 5 years, even more often if you have pets, this helps to remove the bad stuff before it becomes trapped in your home and continually recirculated throughout the home.

Removing the dirt and debris will help to reduce the number of allergy triggers within your home, helping to reduce the number of allergy flare ups from becoming a year-round problem. Hiring a NADCA certified air duct cleaner guarantees that you will being working with a company that uses the highest standards and the most aggressive cleaning methods.

Shortly after having your air duct cleaned you should notice a dramatic increase in the air quality of your home. The increase in air quality will help to cut down on the illness with in your home, saving your family from the number of colds and flues this winter. While many people get flu shots or take other preventative measures against getting sick however, few of us take the time to improve the air quality of our homes.

Even though both the decrease in energy bills and the increase in your health are both amazing reasons to have your air duct cleaned this fall the best reason of all – less dusting! That’s right, with the dust being cleaned out of your duct work the amount of time you will have to spend dusting will be greatly reduced.

While there are other benefits to having your air ducts cleaned, we have already talked about the most important, you save money, have a healthier, and cleaner home. If you want your home to be a cleaner, healthier home take the time and have your air ducts cleaned this fall.

Recent Outbreak of Legionnaires Disease Underscores Role Duct Leakage Plays In Transmitting Airborne Contaminants

Aspen Note: A similar outbreak of Legionnaires Disease at a hotel in southern New Hampshire this summer prompted us to share the following article with our customers, prospects, and friends in an effort to make them aware of the importance of good air quality.

Recent Outbreak of Legionnaires Disease Underscores Role Duct Leakage Plays In Transmitting Airborne Contaminants

Aeroseal joins CDC, American Lung Association and Others Recommending Effective Duct Sealing To Combat Health Risks Associated With Poor Indoor Air Quality

A recent outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York City has contributed to an increased interest among property owners and facility managers in the role that duct leakage plays in the spread of the disease. According to Neal Walsh, senior vice president of Aeroseal LLC, a duct sealing technology company, HVAC businesses throughout the East Coast and elsewhere have experienced a notable increase in customer inquires related to the Legionnaires outbreak and indoor air quality in general.

Duct Sealing from the inside: an innovation in duct sealing technology. The recent Legionnaires outbreak has sparked increased demand for Aeroseal duct sealing services.

We have heard from a number of our East Coast dealers that are responding to an uptick in calls from commercial clients that are concerned about the recent epidemic,” said Walsh. “They are learning that the microbes responsible for Legionnaires disease are typically spread through a contaminated indoor air environment, and that has led them directly to concerns about duct leakage.”

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the EPA and others, duct leakage can be a major contributor to health risks associated with poor indoor air quality. Leaks in the ductwork allow contaminants to enter the duct system at one location within a structure and then spread throughout the rest of the building.

Experts believe that Legionella Pneumophila, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease, is typically spread through a building’s ventilation system. In the recent New York City epidemic, the outbreak has been traced to contaminated cooling towers*, which release water mist. It is likely that the contaminated water mist spread throughout the atmosphere with the assistance of leaky ventilation systems, and then was inhaled by occupants.

It’s estimated that poor indoor air quality costs businesses as much as $100 billion a year in lost productivity, health costs and other related problems,” said Walsh. “Poor indoor air quality can cause everything from headaches, coughing and skin irritation to more serious health concerns such as what we’re seeing in New York.”

Since it first appeared in late July, more than 100 people have been diagnosed with Legionnaires Disease. While this disorder is easily diagnosed and can be treated with antibiotics, 10 people have died due to this latest outbreak.

To help minimize health risks associated with poor indoor air quality, many health organizations including the CDC, the EPA and the American Lung Association, recommend sealing ductwork. While some leaks can be addressed using traditional duct sealing methods, studies show that the most efficient and cost-effective means of sealing ductwork is with the use of aerosol-based duct sealing technology.

We are working hard to educate the public about the problems associated with poor indoor air quality and the role that duct leaks play in exacerbating the problem,” said Walsh. “The recent Legionnaires outbreak is a reminder of how easily airborne diseases can spread and put us all at risk.”

Source: Aeroseal

Aspen Air Duct Cleaning is licensed and ensured, a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI), and is an approved Aeroseal dealer.

Call 1-800-931-6653 or email info@aspenenvironmentalservices.com, for an Air Duct System Inspection and to learn more about how sealing air duct leaks can improve indoor air quality and reduce energy costs.


6 Simple Tips to Prepare Your Home for Fall

We may still be taking a dip in the pool, but soon we will be pulling out sweaters and cozying up on the couch to watch football. The best time to start preparing your home for the fall season is now before you turn on your heat.

Taking the following steps to prepare ahead of the colder seasons can save you from costly repairs down the road.

1. Change filters

Filters should ideally be replaced at the change of each season. A clean filter will help you heat and cool your home more efficiently than a dirty filter. Because filters trap harmful particles from being circulated in your home by forcing air through a fine mesh, a dirty filter will hinder the unit from doing its job. 

2. Check for leaks

Prevent drafts and decrease energy waste by sealing windows and doors. Don’t forget to check your ductwork for leaks as well.

3. Start warming up your unit

Similar to cars that need time to get warmed up when it’s cold outside, your HVAC system needs time to adjust to heating and may take some time to get back to its proper speed and efficiency because it sat unused for such a long time. On cooler nights or days turn your system on a low heat setting.

4. Check alarms and detectors

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential devices that keep you safe. Replace batteries with new ones and push the test button on each device to make sure they are working properly. Also, keep in mind, The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that you replace your smoke detectors every 10 years.

5. Clean up your outdoor unit

If you have an outdoor unit, check for debris and damage. Remove all debris to ensure proper airflow and prevent dirt or leaves from getting inside the unit and on the coils. If you see any signs of damage, give your HVAC contractor a call.

6. Schedule an air duct checkup

The best way to prepare your home for fall is to schedule a maintenance checkup with your local NADCA certified contractor. Having your system cleaned regularly will improve indoor air quality, extend the life of your system and increase the energy efficiency of your home because a clean unit doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire.

Source: National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA)

Aspen Air Duct Cleaning is licensed and ensured, a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI), and is an approved Aeroseal dealer.

Call 1-800-931-6653 or email info@aspenenvironmentalservices.com, for an Air Duct System Inspection and to learn more about how sealing air duct leaks can improve indoor air quality and reduce energy costs.

Fall Is Air Duct Cleaning Season


If giving a warm welcome to cooler weather and festive times with family and friends means turning up the heat in your house, there’s something you should know: You may need to clean your home’s air ducts. Air ducts and ventilation systems can get stuffed with dust, pet hair and other contaminants that get blown through your house when you kick on the furnace for the first time in the fall. Whether you notice a burning smell when the heat turns on or experience an increase in allergy symptoms, dirty air ducts may be to blame.

The debris that builds up in your home’s air ducts throughout the year can foster mold and bacteria growth, and even invite vermin into your home. Homes exposed to extreme weather conditions (like this year’s record-breaking hurricanes or the heat and ash from wildfires) are particularly at risk of developing hazardous mold and bacteria. However, extreme weather isn’t the only thing that can dirty your ductwork. Even homes in regions that are going through the normal seasonal changes see a build-up of allergen-producing spring pollen or mold caused by a humid summer. Daily living with pets and people coming in and out of a home can introduce pet hair and dirt into your home’s air ducts, causing allergic reactions when air starts flowing through the ducts and blowing the dirt through the home.

And now, with flu season on the horizon, it’s especially important to ensure the air in your home is free of common irritants that can worsen symptoms or even cause illnesses. Older people, young children and anyone with asthma or other respiratory diseases are all especially susceptible to illnesses caused by impurities in the air.

The good news is that having the ducts cleaned can save you money on energy costs in the long term. Research by the EPA has demonstrated that air duct cleaning and removing debris from your home’s heating and air conditioning system can improve efficiency and the overall quality of indoor air. And, if your health wasn’t reason enough to get your air ducts cleaned this fall, clean, efficient HVAC systems are less likely to break down and will have a longer lifespan and generally operate more effectively, saving you money and the hassle of dealing with a broken-down heating and air conditioning system.

Source: National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA)

Aspen Air Duct Cleaning is licensed and ensured, a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI), and is an approved Aeroseal dealer.

Call 1-800-931-6653 or email info@aspenenvironmentalservices.com, for an Air Duct System Inspection and to learn more about how sealing air duct leaks can improve indoor air quality and reduce energy costs.


 

Tips for Reducing Allergens Inside the Home

When it comes to allergies, most people think of their home as a haven where they can escape their symptoms. Unfortunately, houses, apartments, and even office buildings harbor indoor allergens of their own. Through normal occupation, dust, air pollutants, and other contaminants collect in a home. Regardless of how often or thoroughly it is cleaned, some dust remains or settles back in the next day.

Many substances found in dust can trigger allergy symptoms. Other common indoor allergens include:

• Dust Mites

• Pet Dander

• Cockroaches

• Molds

Unlike seasonal allergies, indoor allergies may last all year long, and some occupants are more sensitive than others. Allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly, tend to be more susceptible to poor indoor air quality.

Luckily, you can reduce indoor allergens by taking the following measures:

1. Reduce pet dander  

Eliminating pet dander from your home entirely can be an impossible task, but taking steps like cleaning your furniture and carpets can be a quick fix for removing dander from surfaces. Decluttering your space will also give dander fewer places to hide.

2. Prevent mold and mildew 

Ensure your home has sufficient ventilation, use mold inhibitors in your paints, and clean your bathroom with mold-killing products.

3. Use humidity controllers and air purifiers

Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep humidity levels in your home lower than 50 percent will help prevent mold. Air purifiers will also help eliminate the number of contaminants that are in the air such as, mold, bacteria, and viruses.

4. Change air filters

Using air filters can trap pollutants such as pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. Filters work by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps these harmful particles. Cleaning and changing air conditioning filters and duct filters at each change of season will ensure your family is breathing cleaner, fresher, healthier air.

5. Schedule an air duct cleaning

HVAC systems have been shown to collect a variety of contaminants such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust that have the potential to affect overall health. Having your air ducts cleaned can improve your indoor air quality and reduce health problems.

Working with a qualified contractor will ensure the job is done right, which can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Source: Aeroseal

Aspen Air Duct Cleaning is licensed and ensured, a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI), and is an approved Aeroseal dealer.

Call 1-800-931-6653 or email info@aspenenvironmentalservices.com, for an Air Duct System Inspection and to learn more about how sealing air duct leaks can improve indoor air quality and reduce energy costs.


The Secret Sauce for Contractors: Duct Sealant By Aeroseal


Many people know about the game-changing Aeroseal duct sealing. However, the real magic is in our top-secret duct sealant (liquid solution) and how it seals duct leaks from the inside of residential and commercial ductwork systems around the world. Here’s a quick summary about it.

What is Duct Sealant By Aeroseal?
Also known as the Magical Sealant and “Secret Sauce,” our duct sealant is a stable, non-toxic, non-flammable emulsion of water and vinyl acetate polymer that is aerosolized into 4-10 micron-sized particles and distributed under pressure throughout the inside of an air duct system. The following list contains key technical specifications that make the duct sealant so powerful for contractors:

  • Vinyal Acetate Polymer (same base of chewing gum and hair spray)
  • Certified in Accordance with UL 1381
  • Low VOC Content
  • 2 Hours to Cure
  • 3-Year Guarantee
  • Effective at Multiple Pressures, Temperatures, and Humidity Levels

Mastic Duct Sealant versus Aeroseal (Aerosol) Duct Sealant
Another key aspect of our duct sealant is how it compares to alternatives like mastic duct sealant. Mastic is an older way of sealing duct leaks that is actually not as effective as sealing with Aeroseal. Our sealant is the only option for aerosol sealants that get blown through the ductwork by a computerized system to find and seal leaks from the inside of the air ducts.

One of the biggest advantages of Aeroseal duct sealant over mastic duct sealant is how it’s applied. As pictured below, mastic is applied by hand. A contractor physically has to paint the mastic on the ductwork. On the right side of the picture below, you’ll see the Aeroseal machine that applies the duct sealant through a computer-controlled process, resulting in less man-hours needed and better sealing results.

How Does the Duct Sealant By Aeroseal Work?

The award-winning, patented Aeroseal duct sealing technology magically* turns the liquid duct sealant into an aerosol mist and blows it throughout ductwork to simultaneously find and seal any leaks (note: the sealant only settles at the leaks; it does not coat the ductwork). Watch the following video to see an illustration of the process.

How Aeroseal Duct Sealing Works:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3JAR0dCNhc


*Plus, the duct sealant and Aeroseal sealing process are backed by cutting edge science supported by the 
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

Are you a homeowner? This secret sauce can actually improve the comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency of your home. Mind blowing, we know. It’s a true game-changer to fix any HVAC issues in your house. 

Are you a contractor? We’d love to chat with you about how our duct sealant can be the secret sauce to helping you help your customers’ home HVAC needs.

Source: Aeroseal

Aspen Air Duct Cleaning is licensed and ensured, a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI), and is an approved Aeroseal dealer.

Call 1-800-931-6653 or email info@aspenenvironmentalservices.com, for an Air Duct System Inspection and to learn more about how sealing air duct leaks can improve indoor air quality and reduce energy costs.